Arsenal news: Ex-Fifa official issues 'brilliant' claim as controversial Bukayo Saka footage emerges
Arsenal ace Bukayo Saka can thank the referee for his second goal in England’s 6-2 demolition of Iran in the World Cup on Monday (21 November), according to Keith Hackett.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee admitted Raphael Claus did not have a great game but played advantage “brilliantly” for Saka’s second goal.
Raheem Sterling was fouled just after he played the ball to the 21-year-old who then finished calmly past four Iran defenders and goalkeeper Hossein Hosseini.
He got his first goal of the game with a long-range strike in the first half and Sterling also got on the scoresheet before the interval.
England thought they deserved a penalty for a challenge on Harry Maguire in the penalty area in the opening stages after a corner.
Iran were awarded a spot-kick of their own towards the end of the game when John Stones was judged to have pulled the shirt of his opponent.
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“I’m not doubting that he kept the game going and kept his interference rate low,” Hackett said after analysing the game with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“Some of his positioning was a bit wayward for a top-level referee.
“In balance, that Saka goal came from a brilliantly applied advantage.”
Saka was making his World Cup debut against Iran and became the country’s third youngest-ever goalscorer in the competition.
His teammate Jude Bellingham is the second youngest while Michael Owen holds the record with his goals at the World Cup in France in 1998.